Broad City TV Poster Image

Broad City

(i)

 

Absurdist buddy comedy is female-friendly, edgy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters slack off work, steal things, buy and sell drugs, and sleep around, but it's all played for laughs.

Positive role models

The show's leads, Abbi and Ilana, exhibit sisterhood and support each other sweetly but take things like sex and drugs lightly.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

No nudity, but subplots include Ilana's casual sexual relationship with a friend (she Skypes Abbi while in the midst of having sex with him) and the friends attempting to make money by cleaning a total stranger's apartment in their underwear.

Language

Infrequent F-words are bleeped, but strong language includes references to body parts, sex, and obscene insults.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Abbi and Ilana drink and smoke pot on-screen and refer to other drugs. They get drunk and high and act silly. We watch them buying pot from a friend and dickering over the price.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Broad City is an edgy comedy about a pair of female best friends in New York City who steal, party, and smoke pot regularly -- all for laughs. One of the friends has a casual boyfriend she's using for sex; the friends attempt to make money to go to a concert by posting a Craigslist ad offering to clean apartments in their underwear. It's all very funny and comes off as real (which makes sense -- leads Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are real-life best friends), but neither girl is exactly the type of bright, clean-cut, go-getter parents might prefer teens to emulate.

What's the story?

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are real-life friends in New York whose original web series BROAD CITY is now a half-hour show featuring the pair's semibiographical antics under executive producer Amy Poehler. Both Abbi and Ilana have dead-end jobs: Abbi at an upscale gym, Soulstice, where she longs to teach spin classes but is instead given her very own toilet plunger by her smug, yoga-catchphrase-mouthing boss. Ilana works at a Groupon-like service doing sales, but she takes a lot of breaks and is in a happily casual relationship with her friend Lincoln (Hannibal Buress). During their off hours, the friends video-chat with each other, make plans for parties and concerts, stalk cute neighbors, and generally pal around in ways that real-life young women will probably relate to.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Taking a page from Louie, Abbi and Ilana's antics have an absurdist "only in New York" flavor with a dash of the Seinfeld method of spinning a show out of nothing in particular. One episode features Abbi's epic journey to retrieve a package for a handsome neighbor, which involves a trip to an island neither Abbi nor anyone else has ever heard of. Another involves the girls' pursuit of an extra $200 to get into a concert; when stealing office supplies doesn't work, Ilana convinces Abbi to clean a stranger's apartment in her underwear. Spoiler alert: The client (Fred Armisen) evades paying for the service by pretending to be an adult baby who doesn't understand what money is.

That last anecdote more or less sums up the show. If it sounds amusing to you, Broad City probably will be, too. Jacobson and Glazer have personality and a point of view, and though their trying to make extra money by bucket drumming in the park may not be relatable (particularly for those living outside NYC), the two of them always are.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about other shows set in New York that focus on female friendship, such as Sex and the City and 2 Broke Girls. How are Abbi and Ilana like these other heroines? Are they the same age? The same socioeconomic status? Are they presented differently?

  • Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are friends in real life. Can you think of other on-screen pairs, romantic or platonic, who are also paired in real life? Does it make a show more real or more funny if the characters are also involved off-screen?

  • One show Broad City has been compared with is Girls, which is also about a set of female friendships among New York twentysomethings. Which one seems more realistic? Which one is funnier? Which one do you like better?

TV details

Premiere date:January 15, 2014
Cast:Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer
Network:Comedy Central
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bynaturalgirl218 June 10, 2016

Honest, Funny and Satisfying

Broad City is a great show, created and written by comedy geniuses, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. I am 15, and I watch the show, and it is definitely provocative, but never in a "too much" way. I think everything in the show is to make a point, and there are some key messages. It is a very intelligent humor show about friendship and real life. Abbi and Ilana and Paul and Lucia rule!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator Written bycourtneyp1 June 23, 2016

A show

It's very interesting. It does come on Comedy Central so, it's kind of a given that it's not suitable for children. It speaks on current events, new fads and regular things. They're two 20 something women in the city showing us that it's ok to be single, it's ok to peg a guy and as long as you use protection, it's ok to have sex. It's a more forward show and of course 4 people will hate it, 4 people will love it and the rest won't give a crap. They do curse but not every word is a swear and they smoke marijuana but it's legal. It's a show for 16-30 year old females kind of lost in the world...it lets them know that mistakes and sad days will happen but if you have your friends and a positive attitude, you'll be alright.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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